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Fund Managers' Contracts and Short-Termism

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  • Casamatta, Catherine
  • Pouget, Sébastien

Abstract

This paper considers the problem faced by long-term investors who have to delegate the management of their money to professional fund managers. Investors can earn profits if fund managers collect long-term information. We investigate to what extent the delegation of fund management prevents long-term information acquisition, inducing short-termism. We also study the design of long-term fund managers' compensation contracts. Absent moral hazard, short-termism arises only because of the cost of information acquisition. Under moral hazard, fund managers' compensation endogenously depends on short-term price efficiency (because of the need to smooth fund managers' consumption), thereby on subsequent fund managers' information acquisition decisions. The latter are less likely to be present on the market if information has already been acquired initially, giving rise to a feedback effect. The consequences are twofold: First, this increases short-termism. Second, short-term compensation for fund managers depends in a non-monotonic way on long-term information precision. We derive predictions regarding fund managers' contracts and financial markets efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-042.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:21930

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  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1990. "Equilibrium Short Horizons of Investors and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 148-53, May.
  2. Xavier Vives, 1992. "The Speed of Information Revelation in a Financial Market Mechanism," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0016, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
  3. James Dow & Gary Gorton, 1993. "Arbitrage Chains," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0035, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
  4. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  5. Holden, Craig W & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1996. "Risk Aversion, Liquidity, and Endogenous Short Horizons," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 691-722.
  6. Alexander Gumbel, 1999. "Trading on Short-Term Information," OFRC Working Papers Series 1999fe10, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
  7. Gary Gorton & Ping He & Lixin Huang, 2010. "Security Price Informativeness with Delegated Traders," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 137-70, November.
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